Haiti– When an earthquake heaped rubble onto Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital city, one year ago, there was a sense from many people that this catastrophe could be turned into something positive.
After all, many Haitian professionals had mused that what Haiti needed, particularly in its capital, was a huge bulldozer to clear the mountain of anarchic construction that dotted the hilly city. While everyone knows that advocating such a policy publicly was akin to political suicide, the earthquake provided the notion cover.
Suddenly with more than half of the city destroyed, rebuilding it seemed less challenging than before. Raising the money required would be simple because the world was ready to open its pockets.
While rebuilding would not be an easy task by any yardstick, but the bold leadership that it requires from the Haitian government and the private sector has not materialized. Instead, a year later, Haitians have reverted to finger pointing, micromanaging and are unwilling to open up the country to real economic development, according to Haitians and foreigners who have followed the situation closely.